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Running Backs Coach Wilbert Montgomery Not Returning


Ravens Running Backs Coach Wilbert Montgomery will not be returning next season.

Head Coach John Harbaugh announced the coaching change Friday afternoon.

"Wilbert has decided to pursue other coaching and life opportunities," Harbaugh said via a press release. "I want to thank him for everything he did for our organization. Wilbert has been a tremendous coach for the Ravens, and he has played an integral role in the success we've experienced over the past several seasons.

"I have a great deal of respect for the person Wilbert is – not just as a coach, but also as an outstanding family man and someone who inspires everyone around him. In addition to his knowledge of the game and ability to connect with his players, Wilbert brought a passion to the Ravens that helped our team – and the individuals on it – reach tremendous heights."

The Ravens ranked last in the NFL in average yards per carry (3.1) and were 30th in average rushing yards per game (83). They were both franchise lows.

Rice had his worst season yet,rushing for 660 yards (3.1 per carry) and four touchdowns. Backup running back Bernard Pierce also saw a steep drop-off in yards per carry (4.9 to 2.9).

Montgomery joined the Ravens in 2008 along with Harbaugh, and has been in Baltimore for the past six seasons. He's a 17-year NFL coaching veteran.

In 2009, Montgomery's second season in Baltimore, the Ravens ground attack set a team record with 22 rushing touchdowns and ranked fifth in the NFL in rushing yards per game (137.5).

In 2011, Rice led the NFL with 2,068 yards from scrimmage (1,364 rushing and 704 receiving), joining Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk as the only players in NFL history to register at least 1,200 rushing yards and 700 receiving yards in multiple seasons.

Montgomery coached Rice during his three Pro Bowl seasons, and also saw fullbacks Le'Ron McClain and Vonta Leach each go to two Pro Bowls with the Ravens.

Upon seeing the news, Leach tweeted, "Coach Montgomery was a great coach to play for. Learned a lot for him over past three seasons. One of the best RB coach[es] in the business.

"I hate it for coach that he looks like the fall guy for our running game problems. Coach [has] had pro bowlers for years in the backfield. ... There was more [than] one thing or one person. We did not get it fixed as a whole group."

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